Thursday, February 26, 2009

2009 Shutze Award winner, Dutch colonial renovation by D. Stanley Dixon

Julia over at Hooked on Houses is hosting her "Hooked on Friday's" blog party. This is my third try.

This is the 2009 Shutze Award winner for small renovations.
Atlanta architect, D. Stanley Dixon, designed it but architecture tourists are the big winners. If you can find it, you'll be glad you did. The prize rewards the interior as well but the exterior is good enough in itself. (Other 2009 Shutze Award Winners.)

To me, the scale and the detailing produce the charm. The eye is happy looking everywhere. It takes a lot of effort, time, and money, to make it look effortless.

So many details: We see plenty of gambrel roofs in Dutch colonial homes. Whatever the practical effect, the psychological effect of a gambrel room is a more "grounded," approachable home. The prominent, center gable isn't typical Dutch colonial here. But it is typical of the Cape Dutch Style. That is, in colonial South Africa.
The gable details: the arched window with a prominent keystone, and almost Gothic real shutters. The balustrade is a Georgian feature I think.

Both center and end gables are not only gambrel, they curve. The curve evokes a thatched roof. Also a Cape Dutch feature.


These are no ordinary dormers. There are pilasters, entablature, and a very deep and prominent pediment. This is serious stuff, these dormers and visually worthy of flanking the center gable. And...
have you ever seen an 8 over 12 window? You can't even special order them at Home Depot. You only get this with great owners, great architects, and great budgets.


We're not done with windows yet. The 1st floor windows have prominent entablatures. You can't praise real shutters enough, the angles and the shadows keep the eye moving and pleased.

We layman enjoy the shadows without understanding how important they are to artists and architects. Shadows are in play everywhere in the details.

More shadows in the eaves, overhangs, and thick clapboards.


Where does that leave the entrance? It has "more" than the above average house - 8 columns, entablature, and balustrade. In this composition it's just one element. I mean, your eye finds easily finds the door, but there is plenty more to see. And...
the sheltering gambrel roof, the porch roof and the 2 tiny steps say welcome, come in out of the sun or rain.

Let's go back and look the horizontals and verticals. I don't have the right words; so let's just do a little silent study. I don't understand the visual effect of the chimneys but they seem to doing their job. Are they visually keeping the gables from falling off the ends of the house?

This house is bigger than it looks. This wing is pretty big but it doesn't seem so. It's not just that the landscaping hides the wing. It's as if the wing was added on sometime during the long life of the house. It has a different height, different roof line and different chimney.
I don't now about you, but I can imagine this home adapting and growing to fit several families though several generations. That's what houses are all about.

I salute the owners and architect. They could have taken the square footage, the mass, the materials, and the cash and made an intimidating mansion. Instead, they chose people-scaled charm.

I understand that this was a rancher. 2-storied in the first major renovation. What we are seeing is the second major renovation. Of course this is only the street facing facade.

I hope you see these in the slide show. Make sure to blow it up to full screen. If you are familiar with Flickr, see these in original size (2703 x 1857).

Please pardon my amateur description. I'm studying.


  1. it's gorgeous. would love to see what it looked like before.

  2. Wonderful design. Truly beautiful.

  3. STUNNING house. The eye never gets tired.... congrats to that architect!

  4. I love this look! Especially the entry with the pillars.

  5. Thank you for this very insightful post!

    Your words help me to understand better why I love something and reject something else.

    I thought I didn't like the gambrel style, but you have made good points!

  6. Thanks for sharing this info. I live in one of these Dutch Colonials, where the angels of the windows are different. I always describe the sides as looking like a barn.

  7. Suzy, they do make the best looking barns. I think that barns, like lighthouses, are in our genes somewhere.

    As an aside, check out the Cape Dutch Architecture Flickr Group, I can't resist.

    See 25 over 30 windows at the Boschendal Manor House

  8. This house is just sooo charming and wonderful! What a treat to see something like this. Really enjoyed the slideshow, too. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  9. What a beautiful house! I have passed by it several times on my 'dog walks', and thought it was a standout in a neighborhood full of beautiful homes. I did not realize that Stan was the architect behind it until the Shutze award.

    I loved the observation about the shadows. I often notice the way light falls inside a home, and I love to observe the negative and positive space patterns from the shadows of a tree, but I have never noticed the shadows of a home. I love the shadow of the shutter.

    Now, if only Stan would get his web site up so we can enjoy more of his beautiful projects!

  10. Well, I have a new appreciation for this style of architecture. I always admired it, but now I know why! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  11. It's a true classic Terry. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I fall in love with cape dutch manor house. Where can I find floor plan? I want to build it one.

  13. I think the chimneys going upwards balance all the swoopy down lines of the roof.
    (Highly technical language from an architect)

  14. I have been looking for the source of this photo for some time...gorgeous home...

  15. excellent points altogether, you just gained a new reader.
    What might you recommend in regards to your submit that you simply made some days ago?

    Any positive?

    Here is my web blog - calories walking calculator

  16. Was anyone able to find the floor plan? we are trying to build & would be interested in building this house as it is quite beautiful.

  17. Nice designs..!
    I used this site to get information for that i had in my class. This is an excellent site for this information...I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here.

  18. I am very thankful to the author to write this fruitful information.It is worth sharing for other users.Thanks once again

    Custom Faux Wood Shutters


Blog Archive